114. Enter Text and Data

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To create your spreadsheets you will enter text, which serves as descriptive data such as column or row headings; numbers, which have numerical significance (meaning they can be acted on by formulas); and formulas and functions (formulas you create; functions are built into Calc). Entering text and numerical data is straightforward. You click on a cell with the mouse and then you enter the information that you want in the cell. When you press Enter the cell selector moves down to the next cell in the column.

Before You Begin

97 About OpenOffice.org Writer

Start Calc

From the NLD desktop, Select Programs, Office, Spreadsheet. The Calc window opens.

Enter Text

Click in a cell that will contain text. Then type the text. After you have completed entering the text, press Enter. The text is placed in the cell, and the cell selector moves to the next cell down. Enter other text as needed. Notice that text is aligned left in the cells.


You can also enter typed text in a cell by pressing an arrow key. This moves you to another cell in the direction of the arrow key selected.

Autofill Text Cells

You can save some typing of text labels by using the autofill feature. This fills adjacent to the current cell based on the contents of the currently selected cell. For example, if the current cell contains January, you can autofill the cells to the right of the cell with February, March and so on.

Click on the first cell in the series you want to create (such as a cell containing January). Place the mouse pointer on the lower-right corner of the selected cell. The mouse becomes a plus symbol. Drag the fill handle (the small black box on the cell) to create the series and autofill the adjacent cells (you can drag up, down, or right as needed).


Autofill is pretty slick; it can pick up on series that you need to create. For example, typing Region 1 and then using autofill produces Region 2, Region 3, and so on. Autofill can also be used for days of the week (Monday, Tuesday, and so on), and it can fill in a series of numbers. For example, you place 2 in a cell and then 4 in an adjacent cell (below or to the right). When you drag to use autofill, a series of 2, 4, 6, 8, and so on is created.

Enter Numbers

Select a cell that will contain a numerical value. Type the number and then press Enter (or use one of the arrow keys).


If you need to change an entry (text or number) click in the cell and type the new data. If you want to edit an entry, select the cell and then use the Input line (on the Formula bar) to enter the entry. Press Enter when finished.


If you exceed the column width with an entry (text or number), the entry will be truncated when you enter data in the cell to the right of the "long" entry. You can quickly correct this by dragging the column border (the border in the column heading area) for the column to accommodate the entry. You can also double-click the column boundary for a "best fit," which accommodates the longest entry in the column automatically.

Format Text

After you have entered your text labels, you can format them. Select the cell or cells that you want to format. Then select a formatting option such as Bold on the Object bar. You can also add borders and background colors for selected cells using the Object bar. After formatting the cells, click in any other cell to deselect the formatted cells.

Format Numbers

Numerical values can appear as standard numbers, currency, and percentages (and have a varying number of decimal places). To format numbers for a particular number type such as currency, select the cells to be formatted and then select a format option on the Object bar such as Currency.


You can access more formatting options for selected cells in the Format Cells dialog box. Select Format, Cells. This provides access to numerical formatting and formatting for font attributes and borders and background colors.

Compute Totals

You can quickly derive a total for a row or column of numbers using the Sum function. This function (a built-in formula) automatically selects the cells to be used to compute the total by selecting adjacent cells containing numerical values (a group of adjacent cells is referred to as a range).

Key Term

Range A group of adjacent and contiguous cells. Ranges are used in formulas and functions to compute the results. You can also select a range of cells for formatting.

Click in the cell where you want to place the Sum function and then click the Sum function button on the Formula bar. The cell range to be acted on by the function will be highlighted in a blue box. If you need to adjust the cell selection, click and drag to select the appropriate cells. Then press Enter to enter the Sum function in the cell.


You can also drag to copy a formula or function. For example, if you have several like ranges of numerical values in rows, you can use Sum to compute the first total and then drag the Sum function to the other total cells to compute their totals. The Sum function is actually copied using the autofill handle, and it adjusts to the new row values, giving you the correct total for each range of numbers.

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    Novell Linux Desktop 9. User's Handbook
    Novell Linux Desktop 9 Users Handbook
    ISBN: 0672327295
    EAN: 2147483647
    Year: 2003
    Pages: 244
    Authors: Joe Habraken

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